Illegal mining in Brazil’s rainforests has become an ‘epidemic’

Campaigners release map showing scale of pollution and damage to environment caused by small-scale miners

An epidemic of illegal artisanal mining across the Amazon rainforest has been revealed in an unprecedented new map, pinpointing 2,312 sites in 245 areas across six Amazon countries.

Called garimpo in Brazil, artisanal mining for gold and other minerals in Amazon forests and rivers has been a problem for decades and is usually illegal. It is also highly polluting: clearings are cut into forests, mining ponds carved into the earth, and mercury used in extraction is dumped in rivers, poisoning fish stocks and water supplies. But its spread has never been shown before.

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‘We’re going to kill you’: Nicaragua’s brutal crackdown on press freedom

Journalists have been beaten, arrested, and robbed in the wake of the civil revolt that paralysed the country earlier in the year

Nicaraguan TV journalist Miguel Mora was driving home from work when he was pulled over by armed police.

“They ordered me take off my glasses and put a hood over my head,” says Mora, who directs the 100% Noticias news channel. “Then they took me by the neck and forced me into a pickup, where an officer told me: ‘You’re responsible for the death of police. If you keep fucking around, we’re going to kill you and your whole family.’”

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Man’s alleged assault of pregnant partner livestreamed to online gaming site

Sydney man arrested after unintentionally streaming alleged attack, which fellow gamers reported to police

A man will face court after he allegedly assaulted a woman at a home in Sydney’s south-west while livestreaming to an online gaming site.

The 26-year-old was arrested at a home in Oran Park on Sunday night, three hours after he unintentionally streamed the attack and it was reported to police by fellow gamers.

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The anxious art of Liana Finck: ‘People who don’t live in cities think I’m being so mean’

As part of our new series, the illustrated city, artist Liana Finck explains why she thinks urban living makes people so angry – and how drawing on the subway gave her her trademark style

Human beings: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Nowhere is this truer than in cities where, increasingly, we live on top of each other in ever-denser spaces; and no one captures the resultant moments of friction better than Liana Finck. The New Yorker cartoonist has accumulated a loyal following for her line drawings conveying – in unpretentious, quivering pen strokes – all the micro-aggressions and anxieties that navigating a city provokes.

Related: The illustrated city: aggression and obliviousness in New York

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‘I was sexually abused, humiliated and beaten. Legal victory was a great balm’

After the inter-American court ruled in her favour against the Venezuelan state, Linda Loaiza tells of her long fight for justice

In March 2001, when I was only 18, I was kidnapped and for almost four months I was kept forcibly bound and gagged, deprived of my freedom, subjected, threatened with death and held without any communication with my family.

I was sexually abused, burned with cigarettes, humiliated and beaten. I was forced to consume drugs. The man who kidnapped me called me his girlfriend. He pointed a gun at me and threatened to kill me. While he was torturing me, he told me that he had already murdered eight women – he showed me photographs of them. He was very sure that nothing could happen to him; he told me that he was protected by the authorities and knew important people, such as the attorney general, the vice-president, the president of the judiciary.

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San Francisco’s foodie scene suffers as its workers flee high cost of living

With the median price of a rental at $4,550, restaurant workers can’t afford to live in the city considered the epicenter of the foodie revolution

The handwritten sign on the front window of the shuttered Blue Fig Café last month bid a sad farewell to the days when San Francisco could support an old-fashioned coffee house.

The problem that led the eight-year-old Valencia Street café to shut down wasn’t a lack of coffee drinkers in the trendy Mission district. Nor was it the sky-high commercial rents or the competition from the tech industry cafeterias. It was simply that it has become nearly impossible to pay anyone in San Francisco enough to make you a cup of coffee.

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Mayor Sadiq Khan to look at imposing rent controls in London

Exclusive: Arguments in favour of capping rent inflation ‘overwhelming’, Khan tells MP

The mayor of London has hinted that he is considering introducing rent controls across the capital in a radical overhaul of private rental laws.

Sadiq Khan told an MP that London needed to adopt a “strategic approach to rent stabilisation and control”, since the arguments in favour of capping rent inflation are becoming “overwhelming”.

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From freecycling to Fairphones: 24 ways to lead an anti-capitalist life in a capitalist world

We asked readers for their thoughts on ‘non‑capitalist living’ and were deluged with replies. Here are their ideas for everyday ways to buck the system

As the new Amazon advert goes, can you feel it? Amid the encroaching dark and increasingly foul weather, December is synonymous with stampedes to the supermarket, endless online clicks and the massed roar of delivery lorries – or, to be reductive about it, capitalism at its most joyful and triumphant.

Clearly, though, such things are only part of who we are, even at this time of year. As the American activist Rebecca Solnit puts it in her short but brilliant book Hope in the Dark: “Vast amounts of how we live our everyday lives – our interactions with and commitments to family lives, friendships, avocations, membership in social, spiritual and political organisations – are in essence non-capitalist or even anti-capitalist, full of things we do for free, out of love and on principle.”

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Watership Down: ‘true meaning’ revealed ahead of remake

Readers thought story was cryptic allegory, but its creator was firm: ‘It’s just a story about rabbits’

It has been endlessly picked apart and analysed and described as an allegory for both communism and Christianity but the daughters of Richard Adams have revealed the true meaning of Watership Down. “It’s just a story about rabbits.”

Rosamond and Juliet, to whom the story was first told to keep them quiet in the car, have spoken ahead of a two-part animation to be shown on BBC1 over Christmas.

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Armenia election: reformist PM Nikol Pashinian wins convincing victory

Former newspaper editor marks dramatic break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s

Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, has bolstered his authority after his political bloc won early parliamentary elections in the former Soviet country, the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) results showed.

My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party, won 70.4% of the vote on Sunday based on results from all polling stations, the CEC said on its website.

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Armenia election: reformist PM Nikol Pashinian wins convincing victory

Former newspaper editor marks dramatic break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s

Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, has bolstered his authority after his political bloc won early parliamentary elections in the former Soviet country, the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) results showed.

My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party, won 70.4% of the vote on Sunday based on results from all polling stations, the CEC said on its website.

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#HerLightOurLove: New Zealanders pay tribute to Grace Millane

Sorrow and shame sweeps nation, with many using social media to express sadness over murder of British backpacker

New Zealanders are mourning the death of British backpacker Grace Millane by posting images of the sky to Twitter along with the hashtag #HerLightOurLove.

A body believed to be Millane’s was found in dense bushland in western Auckland on Sunday and a 26-year-old man has been charged with her murder.

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Death of Roger, the ripped kangaroo, sparks outpouring of grief on social media

Roger came to fame when a photo of him crushing a metal bucket like a paper cup went viral

Roger, the beefcake boxing kangaroo who came to fame when a photo of him crushing a metal bucket like a paper cup went viral in 2015, has died at the age of 12.

The death of the male kangaroo, who weighed 89kg (14 stone) and stood more than 182cm (6 feet) tall, has sparked an outpouring of grief from his 1.3 million Facebook and Instagram fans.

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Far-right breakthrough in Andalucía challenges status quo, says Manuel Valls

Barcelona mayoral candidate warns against dismissing concerns of people who voted for Vox party

Spain’s political class needs to listen to the concerns of voters who support the far-right Vox party rather than dismissing them as extremists, the former French prime minister and Barcelona mayoral candidate, Manuel Valls, has warned.

Valls, who served as France’s prime minister under President François Hollande from 2014 to 2016, said Vox’s breakthrough in last week’s Andalucían regional election represented a serious challenge to the political status quo.

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Italian priests vow to open church doors to evictees from immigration centres

‘Salvini decree’ threatens to make thousands not eligible for refugee status homeless

Italian priests have declared their willingness to “open the church doors of every single parish” to people expelled from reception centres as an anti-immigration law from Italy’s rightwing government threatens to make thousands homeless.

The so-called “Salvini decree” – named after Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and leader of the far-right League – left hundreds in legal limbo when its removal of humanitarian protection for those not eligible for refugee status but otherwise unable to return home was applied by several Italian cities soon after its approval by parliament earlier this month.

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Australian Tax Office contractors accused of links to tax havens

Report queries arrangements at Stellar, Serco and Outsourcing Inc, which provide labour or help run ATO call centres

Multinational corporations providing labour and call centre staff to the Australian Taxation Office either share links with tax havens or engage in questionable tax practices, a new report has found.

Texas-based firm Stellar, the UK-based multinational Serco and Japanese giant Outsourcing Inc have repeatedly won lucrative contracts with the tax office, typically to provide outsourced labour or help run the agency’s call centres.

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Japan’s crown princess ‘insecure’ about becoming empress due to health issues

Princess Masako, who suffers from a stress-related illness, will become empress when her husband ascends the throne next year

Japan’s crown Princess Masako has said she feels “insecure” about her duties as empress when her husband, crown prince Naruhito, ascends the Chrysanthemum throne next year, as her doctors warned that she continued to experience symptoms of her stress-related illness.

In an unusually candid statement to mark her 55th birthday on Sunday, Masako added that she would do her best after Naruhito succeeds his 84-year-old father, Akihito, who on 30 April will become the first Japanese emperor to abdicate for 200 years.

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